More MT Woollaston

This time at the Suter Art Gallery in Nelson. The refurbished and extended gallery is our cultural highlight of the trip so far. The collection is wonderful with watercolours by Gully and Richmond and big oil landscapes by Woollaston. 

The artists make us reconsider and look more closely at the land through which we travel. Already I can see the hills here are different. They’re more angular with long flanks and gullies with tops that are flat.

Monterey Pine, Wellington Botanical Gardens

At last a moment to try another water colour. Back to a smaller A6 postcard format and a new larger brush bought with Polly in KL. I learnt a lot from trying to capture these trees that were blowing about in the wind on the steep slopes of the gardens. 

A sign pointed out that:

This pine is common in New Zealand but critically endangered in its native California. These pines were planted here in the 1870s as part of a trail to assess the economic potential of various tree species. Pinus radiata proved to be the most successful and is the mainstays of New Zealand’s forestry industry. 

The trees in New Zealand are now an important seed bank for those disappearing in North America. 

View towards Mount Richmond, Nelson – 1938

By MT Woollaston and to where we’ll soon be heading to avoid busy roads and the diversions caused by the still broken highways on the South Island. 

Alain de Botton in his book ‘The art of travel’ argues that the way we see new places as we travel is influenced by how artists choose to depict them. In a visit to French Provence he sees corn fields and pine trees that might otherwise escape his attention if it were not for the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. 

Artists and galleries open our eyes to the places where we’ve travelled and we always seek out national collections to see through other people’s eyes what they might see and value.